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His vein of sentiment is by turns tender and lofty, always tinged with a degree of melancholy, but not possessing any claim to originality. His originality consists in his manner, in the highly figurative garb in which he clothes abstract ideas, in the felicity of his expressions, and his skill in embodying ideal creations. He had much of the mysticism of poetry, and sometimes became obscure by aiming at impressions stronger than he had clear and well-defined ideas to support. Had his life been prolonged, and with life had he enjoyed that ease which is necessary for the undisturbed exercise of the faculties, he would probably have risen far above most of his contemporaries."
ODE TO PITY.
THOU, the friend of man assign'd,
And charm his frantic woe:
His wild unsated foe!
By Pella's bard, a magic name,
Receive my humble rite :
And eyes of dewy light !
But wherefore need I wander wide
Deserted stream, and mute ?
Been sooth'd by Pity's lute.
There first the wren thy myrtles shed
To him thy cell was shown;
Thy turtles mix'd their own.
Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
Thy temple's pride design :
In all who view the shrine.
There Picture's toil shall well relate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail :
With each disastrous tale.
A river in Sussex
There let me oft, retir'd by day,
Allow'd with thee to dwell:
, Virgin, thou again delight
ODE TO FEAR.
Thou, to whom the world unknown
Ah, Fear! ah, frantic Fear!
I see, I see thee near. I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye ! Like thee I start, like thee disorder'd fly. For, lo, what monsters in thy train appear ! Danger, whose limbs of giant mould What mortal eye can fixt behold ? Who stalks his round, a hideous form, Howling amidst the midnight storm, Or throws him on the ridgy steep Of some loose hanging rock to sleep : And with him thousand phantoms join'd, Who prompt to deeds accurs'd the mind : And those, the fiends, who, near allied, O'er Nature's wounds and wrecks preside; While Vengeance, in the lurid air, Lifts her red arm, expos'd and bare :
On whom that ravening brood of Fate,
In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice,
The grief-full Muse address'd her infant tongue; The maids and matrons, on her aweful voice,
Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.
Yet he, the bard * who first invok'd thy name,
Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel : For not alone he nurs'd the poet's flame,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's steel.
But who is he, whom later garlands grace,
Who left awhile o'er Hybla's dews to rove, With trembling eyes thy dreary 'steps to trace,
Where thou and furies shar'd the baleful grove ?
Wrapt in thy cloudy veil th' incestuous queen +,
Sigh'd the sad call her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,
And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear’d.
O Fear! I know thee by my throbbing heart,
Thy withering power inspir'd each mournful line; Though gentle Pity claim her mingled part,
Yet all the thunders of the scene are thine.
Thou who such weary lengths hast past, Where wilt thou rest, mad nymph, at last ? Say, wilt thou shroud in haunted cell, Where gloomy Rape and Murder dwell ? Or in some hollow'd seat, 'Gainst which the big waves beat, Hear drowning seamen's cries in tempests brought ! Dark power, with shuddering meek submitted
And, lest thou meet my blasted view,
O thou, whose spirit most possest